Development for KDE 4.6 is going on for quite some time now and the first (soft) feature freeze is appearing on the horizon. A good point to look into recent and planned changes in Marble. Again this is biased towards routing in Maemo, though the same features will be available in the Desktop version of course. All screenshots below (including the picture) were taken today on my N900.
Multiple routing backends are now queried in parallel. The best route is chosen and displayed, but you can conveniently switch to any alternative route: Just click anywhere on an alternative route (displayed in gray) to activate it.
Online routing in Marble 0.10 (KDE 4.5) is limited to Europe, the supported area of OpenRouteService. The integration of Yours as another routing backend brings worldwide routing to Marble. While working great, we may have to deactivate this feature in the release version however — it is running on a development openstreetmap.org server whose lifetime may be too short.
Internet access may not be available while traveling, or cost a lot. This is where offline routing, the capability to calculate routes without Internet access, comes into play. Marble supports different offline routing backends, namely Gosmore, Monav and Routino. I’m currently evaluating whether it’s possible to distribute Monav with our Maemo packages and host Monav maps for all countries on KDE servers. Offline routing maps for the countries you’re interested in could then be conveniently installed directly from Marble with a single click (Get New Stuff in the Desktop version and a stripped down version of it on the N900).
The screenshot below shows an outline of the area covered by the four offline maps currently installed on my N900: Baden-Wurttemberg (yellow, 210 MB), Germany (orange polygon, 538 MB), Austria (orange rectangles, 95 MB) and Switzerland (blue, 54 MB).
Turn-by-Turn / Route Guidance Mode
Originating in the project of my GSOC student Siddharth Srivastava, you can now activate a turn-by-turn navigation mode: The visible area of the map follows the current GPS location and turn instructions are displayed as necessary. It is extended by another recent addition, the route guidance mode. In case you deviate from the planned route, a new route is calculated starting at the deviated position.
Improved User Interface
The sidebar with its tabs takes much space on devices with small screens. To improve this, we trimmed the available tabs down to what is really needed, moving some things to the map (“float items”) and turning other into dialogs like the Map View:
There are a couple of other additions like route printing support in the Desktop version, automatic state saving and possibly some more I’m forgetting right now. Moreover, Niko Sams is working on another great feature: Configuration of routing profiles. It will allow you to fine-tune the routing backends and create custom profiles like a mountain-bike one.
My focus in the next week will be on finishing the new features and polishing everything to make sure we’ll have another rocking release ready. I hope to have alpha/beta packages ready as well in time to get tests from more users. Get your devices ready 😉